12 February 2018

You Now Carry On for Those Who Are Gone...

Boris Dolmatovsky reports from the Russian National Public Science and Technology Library on Yuri Averbakh’s birthday celebrations

This article's title is a line taken from the congratulatory poem written by Olga Fioshkina, a daughter of the sixth world champion Mikhail Botvinnik. A social event, dedicated to the 96th birthday of Yuri Lvovich Averbakh, was opened by the general director of the Russian National Public Science and Technology Library Yakov Shraiberg. He started by reading out a testimonial addressed to Averbakh:

“...Please accept our warmest and most sincere congratulations and feelings of gratitude for the long-standing cooperation offered by you. We want you to know how much we admire you as an extraordinary and charismatic person. You are a legendary grandmaster and an active ambassador of chess both home and worldwide.

Your road of creative achievements is lengthy and the number of chess summits conquered is large. Recognition and respect from your colleagues is well deserved. Your performance for our country on the international arena has made a difference, as well as your contribution into the development of chess theory, practice, history and culture. We remember you as a chief editor of the distinguished magazines Chess in USSR and Chess Bulletin, not to mention your books and manuals that have grown up more than one generation of athletes.

It is with a special feeling that we thank you for your work with the center of chess culture and information of the Russian National Public Science and Technology Library. We are happy to see the famous Yuri Averbakh school in action again, and this day marks a start of the chess festival bearing Yuri Averbakh’s name. 

96 is quite a symbolic figure! This is exactly what you get when adding up the number of chess squares (64) and pieces (32)!

Warm congratulations to Yuri Averbakh were offered by the tenth world champion Boris Spassky, who celebrated his own birthday January 30 and who was welcomed by applause from the event guests. A congratulatory video message was sent by the 13th world champion Garry Kasparov. Speeches of congratulation were also given by the special RCF projects manager Dmitry Oleynikov, representative of Moskomsport Evgeny Eletsky, journalists Marina and Sergey Makarychevs, publisher of the “64” chess magazine Igor Burstein, general director of the Roskosmos sports club Yuri Lekomtsev, president of the Aviation Sport Federation of Russia Sergey Insarov. Maria Manakova performed songs, and Mikhail Botvinnik's daughter Olga Fioshkina read a poem.

When the official part was over, a long queue formed up in the direction of Yuri Lvovich. Everyone was seeking his company to drink champagne, take pictures and get Averbakh’s autograph to his books “In search of truth.”